Why should you care if NYC proposes another bill to ban flavored vape products?
In a potentially devastating political move last Friday, the New York City Council proposed new legislation that would prohibit the sales of flavored vaping products across the five boroughs. While the bill allows the sales of tobacco and zero-flavored alternatives, it also specifically prohibits convenience stores and other non-age-restrictive vendors from selling no more than four products at a time.
The newly proposed legislation of March 1 follows the introduction of a similar bill, Ordinance 1362, which was unveiled last October and officially proposed in January 2018 by City Council Health Chair Mark Levine. In his press release, Levine claims that an “epidemic” rise in teen vaping of recent years is the underlying predominant factor behind the anti-vaping legislation.
“Vaping has reached epidemic levels among teens, with life-long implications for young people who become addicted to nicotine. One of the tools the industry has used to draw in teenagers is candy flavors like chocolate mint, blueberry, or cherry crush. These flavored smoking products disproportionally attract younger consumers, which is why New York City long-ago banned flavored tobacco. It’s time we did the same for e-cigarettes.”
What’s strangely noteworthy about this second bill in particular is that its introduction follows directly on the heels of a new vaping study recently released by scientists from the state’s own New York University. Among other things, the NYU research calls upon public health officials – state, local, and federal – to quit distorting the facts about vaping and nicotine.
In fact, the study is creatively entitled, Harm Minimization and Tobacco Control: Reframing Societal Views of Nicotine Use to Rapidly Save Lives. The co-authors further claim that vaping is “substantially less harmful than smoking.”
“A diverse class of alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS) has recently been developed that do not combust tobacco and are substantially less harmful than cigarettes. ANDS have the potential to disrupt the 120-year dominance of the cigarette and challenge the field on how the tobacco pandemic could be reversed if nicotine is decoupled from lethal inhaled smoke.”
Why should you care if NYC bans flavored vapes?
It’s important to remember that just last year, San Francisco became the first city in the United States to propose and successfully pass legislation banning flavored vaping products across its regional area. And just last October, New York state officials attempted to pass a statewide flavor ban which gained significant traction but ultimately failed by a slim margin.
New York was not the only state to attempt the passage of new legislation banning flavored vapes. Nearly twenty states are now or have previously considered similar legislative actions. History has shown that massive “nanny state” political movements of the past have often first appeared in the larger, more liberal, metropolitan areas of the east and west coasts before infiltrating the entire country (Nothing against liberals, mind you. In this case, the term “liberal” does not necessarily mean “Democrat”).
Why should you care about a New York City flavor ban? Because the next one could easily happen in your city or state next.
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